SIMCOE, DECEMBER 5, 2013 – The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit has reported its first influenza case of the season.
“We received notification of one laboratory confirmed case of Influenza A,” reported Health Unit’s Infection Control Practitioner Stacey Guthrie.
The flu has officially arrived and people who have not been vaccinated should contact their family doctor, visit a local pharmacy or call the Health Unit at 519-426-6170 or 905-318-5367 to arrange a free flu shot.
“It takes two weeks before you get maximum protection from the flu shot, so the sooner you get vaccinated the better,” Guthrie pointed out.
Sporadic influenza activity has been reported in other regions in Ontario. However, this is the first confirmed case of Influenza in Haldimand and Norfolk.
Influenza spreads from an infected person through coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread from surfaces such as toys and door knobs that an infected person has recently touched. The influenza virus can live for several hours on hard surfaces; therefore regular hand hygiene is one of the best preventative measures and should occur frequently.
People of any age can get influenza. The aliment usually lasts two to seven days, but can go on for longer, particularly in the elderly and in people with chronic illnesses. Typical symptoms of the flu include cough, fever, general aches and pains that can be severe, fatigue or weakness, and extreme exhaustion. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may sometimes accompany the flu.
While the flu shot is the best protection, basic infection control measures can also reduce the spread of flu. These measures include coughing and sneezing into your sleeve, staying at home when you or your children are sick, and washing your hands frequently.
“Don’t bring the gift of Influenza to your colleagues, family or anyone else while you are sick,” she said. “It is especially important for ill people to avoid coming into contact with those in hospitals and homes for the aged where individuals’ immune systems may be compromised.”
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Infection Control Practitioner, Communicable Disease Team
Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit
(519)426-6170 Ext. 3270